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Pride Month Reading

Today is the last day of Pride Month. Did you read a book or poems or anything by an LGBTQ writer?

Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin (WildmooBooks.com)

My friend Kate sent me her copy of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room

I had planned to read James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (1956), but June ended up being a wonderfully crazy-busy month for me. I will read it later this summer for sure.

The first queer book I ever read was Rita Mae Brown’s Sudden Death (1983). I was 18 and in the Marines. It was pre- Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and a friend loaned it to me.

She slipped into my room and handed it over like black market contraband. I kept it locked away in the barracks when I wasn’t home. Couldn’t risk anyone finding it. Witch hunts were real and a bad conduct discharge was the consequence for being outed.

Sudden Death is a drama about a woman in a relationship with a world famous tennis champion. It is supposedly based on Brown’s real-life relationship with Martina Navratilova. It was a good read, not something I could necessarily relate to, but reading a book with lesbian characters who weren’t evil or vile was such a thrill.

Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown (WildmooBooks.com)

I recommend Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown even if I no longer remember the details

The second book I read by Rita Mae Brown was a blast of fresh air: Rubyfruit Jungle. The novel is a Bildungsroman and was quite influential for its depiction of lesbian life when it was published in 1973. I remember loving it but now couldn’t tell you a thing about it.

I’ve had thoughts of re-reading it, but might just let the glow of the past continue to warm my heart whenever I run across a copy.

3 replies »

  1. I can’t even remember what my first LGBT book was. One of the first I read was Winter Birds by Jim Grimsley. There’s something to be said about Southern LGBT literature Carson McCullers, Tennesse Williams and Truman Capote writing about it so far ahead of the world is just fascinating.

    I know once I started reading them I gobbled them up (thank you Amazon!), I took an intro to LGBT literature class in undergrad and I’d read 75-80% of the reading list ahead of time and my instructor thankfully gave me additional reading when I found At Swim, Two Boys which really struck a chord with me.

    Happy Pride!

    PS: When did you transition to WordPress? You used to be something else right? Now that I’m getting back into it I’m starting to catch up and comment again!

    Liked by 1 person

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